issue. I was astonished to find that there were really no arms that could be considered fit for issue and scarcely any of any stamp. I immediately ordered a requisition to be made on General Ripley for a supply.
The latest by telegraph is conclusive that General Curtis has left the borders of Kansas and the Cherokee Nation and is leaving Arkansas altogether, whilst General Price is making this way with a strong rebel force. The united forces of McBride, Rains, Stand Watie, and other prominent leaders with that of Price cannot number less than 30,000 or 40,000 men. To oppose and check this army and protect the extended boundary from here to Fort Gibson alone, upward of 300 miles, I have only about 5,000 men, including Indians raised by your order. You will at once see the necessity of sending re-enforcements and a large supply of arms, ammunition, &c. I may be compelled to call out every made able to serve to assist in checking the raids into Kansas, and to do this I must have arms, &c.
The Indian Expedition has so far done excellent service and accomplished the work laid out for it, namely,to clear the Indian country and restore harmony if possible. This section of country has never since the beginning of the war been in so prosperous condition as now, as every one can testify; but if Price with combined forces attacks the Indian Expedition, as he is sure to do my, weakness, both in men and arms, must prove my ruin and the ruin of this country. Send me infantry and a supply of good arms, and nothing shall be wanting.
The only force I could call upon is the Missouri State Militia, which are not in my department, and who would not leave the State, at least I would not trust them, and wish it to be distinctly understood so. I have had sufficient proofs of their conduct to form this opinion of them.
I surely hope you will act at once on this, as no time is to be lost.
I have the honor to be,sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. G. BLUNT,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF KANSAS, Fort Leavenworth, July 20, 1862.
Brigadier General JAMES CRAIG,
Commanding Troops on Overland Mail Route:
SIR: Your dispatch of the 10th instant, by the hand of Lieutenant Wilcox, was received on the 16th. It is quite evident that the Indian difficulties on the Overland Mail and Telegraph Route will require an additional force of cavalry under you command,and I am impressed with the belief that the red-skins are instigated and led by rebel emissaries,who have been sent there for that purpose, the object being to draw our force in that direction,in order to weaken my force for operations against Arkansas and Texas.
The want of additional troops in this department annoys me much. I have made application for re-enforcements; what success I may have in obtaining them I cannot tell. I have also asked for authority to muster in more cavalry, of which I think eight or ten companies could be raised in Kansas. I would be glad if I had troops to furnish you such force as you require, for I believe the only way to settle the difficulty with the Indians is to give them a sound thrashing. I shall make an effort to have the First Regiment of Colorado Troops transferred to your command. As they are out of my department I shall have to